I chuckled at the Cambridge Dictionary’s online definition of “put the cart before the horse.” The sentence they use to explain the saying is: “aren’t you putting the cart before the horse by deciding what to wear for the wedding before you’ve even been invited to it?”
We’re talking about your wedding today and how you might think you put the cart before the horse by living together first. Some couples like you falsely believe:
- It’s impolite to ask for wedding gifts
- They already have everything
- Asking for cash instead of gifts is embarrassing
Does any of that sound familiar? Then this article is for you, so free up space on that cart because there’s always a neat gift (or money) that will come in handy as you start the newlywed chapter of your life.
What Is a Wedding Registry Again?
For any couple, a wedding registry is like a wish list of gifts. A wedding registry makes gift-giving easier for guests because they can see what you want and if someone has already bought a specific item for you.
Today, we’re covering:
- How many wedding registries to have and how to set them up.
- What do you ask for?
- How to register for cash gifts
- What about destination weddings?
- How your guests can donate to your favorite charities instead of giving you wedding gifts or money.
Are you still unconvinced about a wedding registry if you’re already living together? No worries, keep reading…
Why You Still Need a Wedding Registry When You’re Living Together
Let’s tackle this “what to register for when you have everything” search term from two different angles:
- You think it’s rude to expect a gift since you’re already living with your soon-to-be spouse?
- You seriously think you have everything you will ever need right now?
Bless your heart either way! Now, to an expert on the subject.
Let’s Hear It From Emily Post
I took a deep dive on emilypost.com and brushed up on what’s considered polite.
The website is renowned, as is Emily Post after she published a book called Etiquette in 1922 that promoted honesty, respect, and consideration to readers worldwide.
Call Emily one of the first influencers of her kind because over a hundred years later, The Emily Post Institute Inc. remains a thriving family business advising people on everything etiquette, most specifically, wedding etiquette.
This in-depth Emily Post advice column on wedding registries suggests that it’s more polite, if not expected, for guests to bring a gift (or offer cash) to a couple on their wedding day. I get what this article says because I always pick up a practical gift for a party or event host, even if they tell me not to!
Inviting guests to your wedding means bringing them into one of the biggest moments of your life.
Most (if not all) guests wouldn’t think of attending without a celebratory gift, and if you don’t make your wish list clear, it’s harder for them to find a gift that’s appropriate or useful for you as a couple now.
Think You’ve Got Everything? Really?!
Maybe you started living with your future spouse during the pandemic quarantine, or you’ve lived together for years and are stuck in a tidy little rut.
Wedding registries don’t equal greed. So when you and your S.O. mull it over, you’ll think of something you need—we’ll give you hints below!
Creating a Wedding Registry When You’re Living Together
I understand where you may be right now. You’ve got enough on your mind just planning your wedding, but creating your wedding registry doesn’t have to be overly time-consuming.
Taking Stock of Your Current Inventory a Bit at a Time
As a couple living together, you can each start by creating a separate running list on your cell phones to add to as you think of things. Remember, you can add items to your list until the last delivery window before your wedding!
Here’s a perfect example that happened to me – one barely-awake morning, when I was pouring yet another mug of caffeine from a leaky coffee maker, I realized it was finally time for a coffee-making upgrade!
Cover Your Bases With Two or Three Wedding Registries
It’s customary for any engaged couple to have at least one wedding registry, although you can choose up to three if your needs are diverse.
For example, you might realize you’d like a cast iron skillet while your fiance adds gardening equipment to their list.
In that case, you can register at your favorite department chain, and your fiance can choose a big box home and garden store.
Remember, we’ve got a great list of items below that you may not have thought of either!
Your Wedding Website Comes in Handy
One of the wonders of modern technology is the ability to plan your wedding more efficiently through any number of popular wedding websites.
If you’re using a wedding website, check out the options because many now offer wedding registry integrations that make setup a breeze.
Consider Online Retailers
Modern technology offers us even more convenience. Like when your wedding guests can purchase wedding gifts for you from the comfort of their armchairs or when they’re lounging on the couch!
Some couples prefer to have gifts delivered directly to their home, so your guests don’t have to lug an additional item if they’re traveling to your wedding from out of town.
What an Online Wedding Registry Looks Like
Suppose you’re like billions of other people who already have an Amazon account. In that case, it’s a no-brainer to set up a wedding registry available to your guests far and wide, especially if they don’t live near big shopping centers where a physical wedding registry may be located.
Click on Create Your Wedding Registry with step-by-step instructions to see how easy it is!
How to Price Gifts on Your Wedding Registries
You may worry about the costs of your selected gifts because you don’t want your guests to feel obliged to overspend.
It’s thoughtful of you to be considerate, and offering a range of spending suggestions is a good idea.
So here are good price points to set on your wedding registries:
Gifts in the $50 and Under Range
These are perfect for friends and family on a fixed income or for guests who’d like to buy you a few different items to combine into a packaged gift.
Gifts Between $50-$100
This price range gives guests a chance to buy you a nicer small appliance or kitchenware like some of the items we’ve got on our list below!
Gifts Over $100
This price point offers selections your BFFs and fam are likely to choose for you, mainly if they don’t live nearby or aren’t aware of higher-priced items you want or need.
Big-ticket items aren’t a no-no! A single gift over $500 may be preferable to some groups who want to kick in to buy you something special together. So if you’re dreaming about something extra, put it in there!
Now that you’ve got some price points, let’s get to the fun part of a wedding registry. Check out our unique and maybe unexpected ideas for gifts to add to your wedding registry!
Wedding Gift Ideas You May Not Have Considered
Perhaps you’re not all that materialistic. Same with me!
But an ideal wedding gift for both of you can be that skillet or gardening tools mentioned above, a lifesaving appliance, or something more artsy and eye-catching to decorate your home after you’re married.
Slow Cooker Is a Dinnertime Gamechanger
If you’ve never used a slow cooker before, prepare to be amazed because it saves you so much time wondering what to scrape together for dinner after a busy day.
How do Memphis-style ribs, sticky chicken wings, or delicious baked beans sound? Check out slow cooker recipes for 80 easy meals to prepare in a snap, cooking slowly and safely while the two of you are at the office or working remotely.
This unit also claims to be “9 Appliances In 1” with a pressure cooker, sauté, rice cooker, cake maker, steamer, egg cooker, and food warmer feature. You can even make yogurt with this little miracle appliance!
Flex Coffeemaker Means No Coffee Beans Wasted Again
Coffee drinkers, you don’t know what you’re missing until you realize how many options a coffee maker like this gives you for that cup of joe you crave every day!
It has a traditional 12-cup serving side that features easy programming for “wake-up ready” coffee set the night before, and I like the auto pause and pour feature on mine that lets you grab a cup before the brewing cycle finishes.
But the thing I like best about this sleek machine is the single-serving side that takes pods or ground coffee when you only need one cup at a time.
Nothing Like a Home-Baked Breadmaker
Are you familiar with that delicious bakery smell? It gets us every time, and you can get that yummy aroma at home when you have a breadmaker like this handy little unit that comes in matte silver or a retro blue-green.
This breadmaker features 20 auto programs allowing you to make everything from gluten-free loaves to French bread and pizza dough.
The pan, kneading paddle, and measuring utensils are dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup.
Toaster Oven and Air Fryer to the Rescue
I love to cook, and I’m lucky enough to have an induction oven with an air fryer feature in my home. But I still love a little toaster and air fryer that I used for years because it saved me on a few occasions when my old stove went on the fritz!
If you’re apartment-dwellers, consider a small kitchen gadget like this, mainly because it can roast a whole chicken, bake a pizza, or whip up a big batch of French fries in a cook time that’s 40% faster than a regular old stove.
Your game nights will be getting a whole lot tastier!
Better Water Straight From the Tap
Drinking water quality is a real issue, and while I love my Brita filtration system in the fridge, I also like to have room-temperature water. A faucet mount filtration unit like this one is just the ticket!
This water purifier reduces contaminants, including lead and mercury, and it’s easy to attach to your kitchen faucet with no tools required.
A Bamboo Cheese Board Built To Last
You will love entertaining with this well-designed and durable charcuterie platter that includes a cheese knife set, cutting board, bowls, a 4-sided serving tray, and more!
The bamboo material is low maintenance and liquid resistant, so you’ll be enjoying this for years.
Add Some Luxurious Bathroom Towels to Your Life
This matching bath towel set is beautifully made of 100% spun cotton and perfect to enjoy yourself or save for when friends and fam visit. Each set has two bath towels and hand towels and four washcloths.
The color choices are plentiful here, with shades like mint green, ocean aqua, classic grey, or a grey/white combo that’s striking.
Star in Your Own Hand Casting Kit
Here’s a fab idea I wouldn’t have dreamed up until I saw it—a kit to make a cast of your joined hands and wedding rings right in the comfort of your home!
It’s a great way to celebrate your marriage and make lasting memories.
Have Yourself a Personalized Pillow
This sweet little pillow is a perfect decorative accent for your home after you’ve tied the knot!
Hang Your Love on the Wall With This Digital Watercolor Portrait
I know a bride who asked people to send her impromptu pictures taken of her and her new spouse on their wedding day.
This digital watercolor print takes it up a notch, making it a beautiful gift for newlyweds to hang on their walls as a lovely memento.
Cool Coasters for a Fun Couple
No doubt about it—a good quality coaster is always appreciated.
These personalized coasters are affordable and eye-catching, and your guests will be proud to gift them to you.
Nothing Quite Like a Genuine Copper Mug
A 100% copper mug made in the USA is handcrafted art you’ll feel privileged to own. Receiving a set of these mugs as a wedding gift will be enjoyed for a lifetime.
What if You Want Cash Instead?
Check out this great article by my fellow Wedding Pioneer author Andy on how to ask for money instead of a traditional wedding gift.
It’s all you need to know about setting up a wedding cash registry, how to tell your guests that you’d prefer money (this is important, etiquette-wise), and great tips for money boxes at your reception!
How About a Destination Wedding Registry?
Some couples already living together are planning destination weddings (1 in 4 couples choose a destination wedding, and the popularity is growing). So how do you work a wedding registry into your wedding away?
You may think gifts are unnecessary since guests travel to your destination to see you get married. Still, if you’re hosting a beautiful beachfront reception with food and drinks, you could opt for cash contributions towards a honeymoon fund.
When You Give Money, You Get a Lot
When you’re living together as an engaged couple now, and you think you’ve got enough stuff to get by, invite your guests to donate to your favorite charities in honor of your wedding.
Giving can be the greatest gift you receive, and when you begin your married life with the spirit of generosity, it’s a beautiful bonding experience!